Los Angeles, Calif- Birmingham catcher John Tincher sparked hope for his team after a nightmare first inning against Chatsworth in the Open Division CIF City semifinals at USC.
Tincher and his team refused to allow an early setback hinder his hopes to defending its title at Dodger Stadium. The junior belted a go-ahead triple that rocketed out to left field in the third inning to start a rally and Birmingham defeated Chatsworth 3-2.
“I knew he was going to throw a fast ball because I knew it was coming and I drove it and that’s what got everyone going and everyone pumped up and ready to talk” Tincher said.
The game could have easily slipped away from Birmingham (25-10) after senior starting pitcher Armando Yanez failed to record an out. Chatsworth scored both of its runs off of Yanez in the first inning and last year’s Division I champions were forced to pitch sophomore Alberto Garcia.
“Praying to God is what I usually do and it works,” Garcia said.
Garcia threw seven innings of scoreless relief and in the third inning his team began to chip away at the deficit.
“For a tenth grader Albert did an amazing job and had composure for such young player” Birmingham coach Matt Mowry said.
Chatsworth (17-11) will have its opportunity to build upon the program after losing former coach Tom Meusborn and key seniors Daniel Zakosec (New Mexico State), Brandon Bohning (CSUN and Josh Medina (Sonoma State). The team is expected to build around junior starter Gabe Achucarro who allowed only two runs.
“There is a lot of talent here, I was excited to to jump in to a program that had those kinds of players coming through and it was a lot of fun for me,” said Kaczor. “We are going to be bringing up a strong junior class which is exciting. The pressures of the program are always there, Chatsworth baseball is Chatsworth baseball.”
Birmingham will defend its city title this Saturday against West Valley League rival El Camino Real at Dodger Stadium. The two teams faced each other in the playoffs at the semifinals at USC in 2016 and ECR won 3-1. The first pitch starts at 1 p.m.
Written by Kaitlyn Von Meter and Kristen Von Meter